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Bush not as bad as he's made out to be

I refer to the Malaysiakini article Let's throw shoes at others besides Bush.

As an American who once lived in KL, it was pleasant to read the writer’s comments about George Bush not being the worst tyrant in the world, much as I dislike him.

Next month when Barack Obama becomes president, we will embark on the long road to economic and image recovery.

The Gulf Wars, meanwhile, have been over-rated for their negative effect on the image of America in Muslim countries.

Arab and other Islamic countries have hated America for 50 years. Long before Sept 11, the racist, hate-mongering comments in the Dubai Gulf News vilifying the American people (not just the government, but the people) were horrendous.

Meanwhile, the Dubai government college where I taught was a place where Americans regularly received preposterous emails from students accusing them of being Jews and spies.

As for Sept 11, many Arabs are still convinced that those attacks were perpetrated by the CIA to make Muslims look bad. Nothing ever changes in the Arab world.

I just have one small bone to pick in the above article: the writer describes Chicago as having a greater crime rate than Baghdad.

Actually, Houston, San Francisco and Chicago, according to a recent survey by a prestigious British think tank, have considerably lower violent crime rates than London.

This survey rated 215 world cities, and Baghdad ranked dead last in safety.